Leaders of Germany’s 16 states assembled in Berlin on Thursday to discuss possible ways to fix the country’s stalled gambling regulations, which has been declared illegal under European Union law by the EU’s top court. Due to Germany’s failed gambling regime, it is believed that infringement proceedings are being prepared against the country by the European Commission, as reported by CalvinAyre.
In October, a number of suggestions including lifting the arbitrary license cap were proposed by officials in the state of Hesse for bringing the federal treaty into compliance. Twenty sports betting licenses were awarded by Germany in September 2014, but due to legal challenges by failed applicants none of these licenses have been activated.
On Friday, local media were told by representatives of German pool betting and lottery operator association Deutsche Lotto and Totoblock (DLTB) that the 16 state ministers had agreed that the number of available licenses would be doubled to 40. That means that all 35 applicants who managed to make it to the controversial licensing process’s second stage would be automatically approved to offer sports betting in Germany. However, proposals to extend licensing to include other online betting options such as poker games and casino were reportedly rejected by ministers. Operators who had hoped to offer their German customers a wide-ranging product had their hopes dashed as the ministers were said to opt for “minimally invasive surgery” to repair the ailing interstate treaty.
While it is likely that the amended treaty will be officially signed into law in June, it remains to be seen whether or not the change will be enough to deter the European Commission’s infringement proceedings.
In other news in Germany, Scientific Games Corporation, known as Sci Games, revealed that it was awarded a new five-year deal to provide retail lottery technology in the country. The contract was awarded through a competitive procurement process and began in October 2015. Under the agreement, software, retail technology, and maintenance services should be provided by the company to the Lotto-Toto GmbH Sachsen-Anhalt. The deal may be extended by the German lottery provider for five additional years.